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Press Release

Eight Face Federal Drug Charges

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Southern District of Illinois

A federal grand jury in Benton, Illinois, has charged eight Franklin County residents with narcotics-related offenses, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of Illinois, Stephen R. Wigginton, announced today.

Those charged with conspiracy to manufacture methamphetamine are: Jonathan Brent Eldridge, 43, of Zeigler, Illinois, and Jessica R. Ghan, 27, of West Frankfort, Illinois. Five individuals were charged with possession of pseudoephedrine with the intent that it be used for the production of methamphetamine: Kristena J. Grant, 30, of West Frankfort, Illinois, Alicia A. Ragan, a/k/a Alicia Geer, 25, of West Frankfort, Illinois, Crystal G. Geer, 26, of West Frankfort, Illinois, Steven A. Myers, 47, of West Frankfort, Illinois, and Ronald J. Furmanski, 45, of Benton, Illinois. Another individual, Joshua L. Parkhill, 35, of West Frankfort, Illinois, was charged with distribution of heroin.

Those charged with conspiracy to manufacture methamphetamine face 10 years to life in prison and a $10 million fine. Those charged with providing pseudoephedrine pills to others face up to 20 years in federal prison and a $250,000 fine. Parkhill faces up to 40 years in federal prison and a $5 million fine on his heroin charges.

An indictment is a formal charge against a defendant. Under the law, a defendant is presumed to be innocent of a charge until proved guilty beyond a reasonable doubt to the satisfaction of a jury.

The investigation in this case was conducted by the Illinois State Police, Southern Illinois Drug Task Force, West City Police Department, Sesser Police Department, Christopher Police Department, Zeigler Police Department, Franklin County Sheriff’s Office and Franklin County State’s Attorney’s Office.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Tom Leggans.

Updated February 19, 2015